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Across the Midwest, it’s hurricane and flooding season. This season is already proving to be wet and prone to flooding, so just like your mom cautioned, it’s always a good idea to plan ahead.

The managers at Rose Lake Estates recommend that you to have a plan to keep your tax and important personal records safe. Plans made before a disaster strikes can help you recover from any kind of storm or flooding destruction.

Here’s what we recommend to our homeowners:

  • Use electronic records. Most bank and financial statements are routinely stored online. Why not keep other records electronically, as well? Scan and download any insurance policies, wills, POAs, and marriage, divorce and birth certificates onto an electronic format, to an external hard drive, USB flash drive, or burn CD copies. Be sure you keep these electronic duplicates well away from originals (such as at a another family member’s home or a security box at your bank.)
  • Make copies of prior year tax records.  Your CPA probably has records of past years. But in case you no longer have access to these, you can file Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return at the irs.gov website. The IRS will waive the usual $50 fee if you are a victim of a federally declared disaster.
  • Document valuables.  Don’t wait until you need these. Do it now! Take photos or videos of the contents of your home. Your cell phone is great for this, but make sure you save these photos to another source as well (phones are often misplaced or damaged). Visual records can help you prove the value of your lost items which can help with insurance claims.

Naturally, we hope there are no natural disasters in our area, but also know crazy and unexpected stuff can happen to the best of folks. So be smart and have a plan – just as we do here at the office at Rose Lake Estates. It’s always a good idea to have duplicates of important documents saved elsewhere – just in case!

 

 


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